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Dec 6, 2023

Digital national secondary education exams advance this year in a pilot project

The president of IAVE guarantees that he will assume responsibility if something does not go well with the process of national tests in digital format.

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Oct 4, 2023

Portugal government wants more professional students in Higher Education

Less than a fifth of vocational education students who completed secondary education (18%) continued their studies in higher education. The proportion reaches 80% in the case of colleagues on scientific-humanistic courses. The Government wants more professional students to enter universities and polytechnics.

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Sep 28, 2023

New exam model for Portugal 11th grade students

Year 11 students who take national exams at the end of this academic year will follow the new model for completing secondary school and accessing higher education. The changes were published this Friday in Diário da República and come into force.

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Sep 22, 2023

Portugal government approves new rules for access to higher education

The Government approved a new model that requires the counting of two national exams for the average entry to higher education, and which will come into force from 2025.

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Sep 14, 2023

Portugal National exams: More than 75% of revision requests resulted in an increase in the grade

In the 1st phase of national exams, in more than three quarters of the tests that were the subject of a request to review the classification, grades increased. On the other hand, in 8% of requests the result was the opposite of what was expected, a reduction in classification.

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Sep 14, 2023

Portugal school year begins with thousands of students without a teacher and hundreds of retirements

Classes begin with around 80 thousand students without a teacher in one or more subjects. The southern part of the country is the most affected by a lack of teachers, but the problem spreads to all regions. Between September and October, another 726 teachers will retire.

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Sep 13, 2023

National exam season in Portugal, with strikes and minimum services decreed

The season for national secondary education exams begins with the 12th year Portuguese test, with teachers' unions calling strikes for students' final assessments, subject to minimum services by decision of the arbitration court.

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Aug 17, 2023

Almost 150,000 students enrolled for the first phase of secondary school exams in Portugal

About 21% intend to use the exam to improve their internal classification, with 6% still needing the grade to pass the subject.

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Aug 16, 2023

Examination of Physics and Chemistry A corrections in Portugal

The Institute for Educational Assessment has already published the wording and correction criteria for the national exam in Physics and Chemistry A.

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May 26, 2023

National exam cooperation with Portugal expanded to 40,000 pupils

Portugal’s education minister noted on Monday the “success” of cooperation with the Angolan government, highlighting the project on national exams, which will be extended from a pilot phase to cover 40,000 students.

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Feb 9, 2023

Almost 90% of the lack of teachers in Portugal schools is due to sick leave

Education Minister João Costa admitted that the problem of a shortage of teachers will tend to get worse due to the increase in the number of retirements and the reduction in the number of new teachers.

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Feb 8, 2023

Portugal secondary exams are again only for access to higher education

Use as ferramentas de partilha que encontra na página de artigo. Todos os conteúdos do PÚBLICO são protegidos por Direitos de Autor ao abrigo da legislação portuguesa, conforme os Termos e Condições.Os assinantes do jornal PÚBLICO têm direito a oferecer até 6 artigos exclusivos por mês a amigos ou familiares, usando a opção “Oferecer artigo” no topo da página. Apoie o jornalismo de qualidade do PÚBLICO. This academic year there will be no changes to the model that has been in force since the covid-19 pandemic, revealed João Costa in Parliament.

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Jan 26, 2023

Portugal will be one of the few European countries without secondary school completion exams

Portugal will be one of the few European countries without secondary school completion exams. End-of-cycle tests also serve to rank candidates for higher education in most European education systems, as has been the case in Portugal since the 1990s.

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Jan 16, 2023

New model of access to higher education in Portugal divides students. Private universities applaud.

Secondary school students' opinions on the Government's proposal between praising the "balance" and the missed opportunity to end the national exams once and for all.

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Jan 9, 2023

Higher education continues to rise in Portugal. Almost 50,000 students had a guaranteed place

More than half of the students were placed in their first choice and there were fewer places left. In the last three years, students were not obliged to take all the national exams, resulting in three entrance exams with historic numbers.

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Jan 3, 2023

Widespread rise in averages in the 2nd phase of Portugal's national exams

The Physics and Chemistry grade increased by 1.6 values ​​compared to last year and the Portuguese grade rose by 1 value. Only one subject had a negative average.

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Nov 15, 2022

Number of Portugal applicants for higher education is once again one of the highest ever

More than 58,000 have already submitted their candidacy. In the space of 25 years, only in the last two competitions were there more students trying to enter universities and polytechnics.

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Nov 10, 2022

In Portugal, five exams improved averages compared to the first phase

As a general rule, the results go down in the second phase of exams, but this year, five tests, including Portuguese (12th grade), recorded increases compared to the first season. Mathematics A and Mathematics Applied to Social Sciences had averages below 10 values.

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Sep 21, 2022

Portugal 9th grade benchmarking tests and exams will be digital in 2023

Next year, all assessment tests will be carried out in digital format, except for Artistic and Physical Expression. The model will be tested this year in some schools, and the process of selecting the establishments to be included in the pilot project is in progress.

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Aug 22, 2022

Ten thousand students chosen for PISA test in Portugal

Since March 2 of this year, around 10,600 students between the ages of 15 and 16 have been chosen to take the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) tests in 231 Portuguese schools.

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Républica Portuguesa (The Portuguese Republic) is the western-most country on the European continent. It is bordered by Spain to the east and the North Atlantic Ocean to the north, west and south. The islands of Azores and Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean are autonomous regions (regiões autonomas) of Portugal. The population is 10,676,910 and the literacy rate 93.3%. Portuguese is the official language and the language of instruction.

The area of present-day Portugal was first visited by the Celts, followed by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and the Romans, and the entire Iberian Peninsula was conquered by the Moors. During the period of the Spanish Reconquista (Reconquest) of the Iberian Peninsula from the Moors, Portugal was a county of Spain. By 1149, Portugal gained independence from Spain with Alfonso I as the first King.

In the 15th century, Portugal began to explore the world, and claimed the islands of Madeira and the Azores in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa. In the 1440s, Portugal began to explore Africa and several colonies were established. In 1500, both the Spanish and Portuguese reached the east coast of South America. A later agreement gave the area of present-day Brazil to Portugal. In 1497, Vasco da Gama landed in India, and within several years, Portuguese missionaries and traders were established in India. In 1557, Portuguese traders established a colony on Macao.

In 1581, King Philip II of Spain claimed Portugal and the 2 crowns were merged, but a bloodless rebellion in 1640 restored the Portuguese crown. During the reign of Napoleon, Portugal was divided between France and Portugal. By 1908, the Portuguese royal family was exiled and the Portuguese Republic was established.

Portugal was a founding member of NATO and joined the European Union on June 1 1986.


Currently, the Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior is responsible for higher education in Portugal.

Primary Education

Education is free and compulsory from ages 6 to 15. Ensino básico (Primary school) is 9 years and is divided into 3 cycles. The first cycle is 4 years, the second cycle is 2 years, and the third cycle is 3 years. Upon completion, students are awarded a Diploma do Ensino Básico (Diploma of Basic Education).

Secondary Education

Ensino secundario (Secondary school) is 3 years and has 4 tracks: scientific-humanities, technological, specialized arts, and professional studies. Vocational and professional studies are offered at escolas secundárias profissionais (professional secondary schools). Upon completion, students are awarded a Diploma de Formação Profissional de Nivel III, Diploma de Estudies Profissionais, or a Certificado de Qualificação Profissional de Nivel III. Students in academic tracks are awarded a Diploma de Ensino Secundário upon completion. The Certificado de Fim de Estudos Secundárias was also awarded until the mid 2000s.

Post-Secondary Education

There are 2 types of post-secondary education: ensino universitário (university instruction) and ensino politécnico (polytechnic instruction). Admission requirements for post-secondary study are set by each individual institution. These institutions require a Diploma de Ensino Secundário and some require sufficient scores on an entrance exam, concurso nacional for public institutions and concurso local for private institutions. Admission to post-secondary study is coordinated by the Comissão Nacional de Acesso ao Ensino Superior (CNAES) (National Committee for Access to Higher Education). Students ages 23 and above who do not hold a Diploma de Ensino Secundário can sit for the Exame Extraordinário de Avaliação de Capacidade para Acesso ao Ensino Superior (extraordinary exam to assess the capacity to enter higher-level studies) and apply for post-secondary programs.

Ensino superior politécnico (Post-secondary technical education) is offered at 15 institutos politécnicos (polytechnic institutions), 3 nursing colleges, 2 colleges of higher education, and 3 polytechnic colleges of higher education.

Cursos de especialização tecnológica (CET) (Specialized technological courses) were created in 1979 and are offered at escolas superiores (higher schools) in polytechnics. After 2 years of study, students are awarded a Diploma de Especialização Tecnológica (DET) e Qualificação Profissional de Nível 4. First-level Licenciatura (licentiate) programs are 3-4 years (180-240 European Credit Transfer System). Second-level Mestrado (Master) programs are 3-4 semesters (90-120 European Credit Transfer System) and require a Licenciatura (licentiate) for admission. Prior to the 2006-07 academic year, polytechnics offered a 3-year Bacharelato and a 4 to 5-year Licenciatura (licentiate). Full implementation of the Bologna-compliant degree structure however, did not take place until 2009-10 so some Bacharelato (also called Bacharel) degrees may have been awarded in the period 2006-09 leading up to full implementation.

Ensino superior universitário (University study) is offered at 14 universities and 1 non-integrated university; 4 military and police science university institutions: Academia da Força Aérea (Air Force Academy), Academia Militar (Military Academy), Escola Naval (Naval College), and Instituto Superior de Ciências Policiais e Segurança Interna (Higher Institute of Police Sciences and Homeland Security). The Portuguese Catholic University is private, but is recognized by Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education.

First Cycle

First-level studies are 6-8 semesters (180-240 European Credit Transfer System) and lead to the Licenciatura (Licentiate). Prior to the 2006-07 academic year, the Licenciatura (Licentiate) was 4-5 years though, again, some may have been awarded up to full implementation in 2009-10 of the new degree structure. [strike: and universities also offered a 3-year Bacharelato]

Second Cycle

Second-level studies require a Licenciatura (Licentiate) for admission. They are 3-4 semesters (90-120 European Credit Transfer System) and, upon successful defense of a thesis, students are awarded a Mestrado (Master). Mestrado Integrado (Integrado Master) programs are usually in professional areas of study and are 10-12 semesters (300-360 European Credit Transfer System). They require a Diploma de Ensino Secundário (Diploma of Secondary Education) for admission.

Third Cycle

Doctoral programs require a Mestrado or a Mestrado Integrado for admission. Following coursework and defense of a dissertation, students are awarded a Doutoramento (Doctorate). A Doutoramento is only awarded by universities.

Teacher Training

Primary and secondary school teachers must hold a licenciatura. There is no specialized teaching credential.



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